Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: Bloodrose


Title: Bloodrose
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Witches War #3
Publisher: Philomel
Published: January 3rd 2012

Is true love worth the ultimate sacrifice? Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.


Bloodrose is arguably the best book of Andrea Cremer's wolf series. With more action, romantic tension and suspense than ever before, you'll love this fast-paced read! Even though loose ends are all tied up and dusted, you won't be able to help still wanting more! After three deliciously addictive reads, you'll have a very hard time letting go of the characters you've loved for so long.

This book is filled to the brim with exciting adventure. The personal lives of the characters revolve around their journeys to dangerous lairs in search of the Scion's Elemental Cross. With it, they can kill wraiths and finally defeat the Keepers after centuries of failed attempts. It was a joy to reunite with the Searchers again. They're all unique and bring so much entertainment to the story. Ren finally discovers that Adne is his step-sister and they have the most heart-warming relationship! (Imagine what happens when little sister has an admirer? Oooh.) There's great camaraderie between everyone and I loved that Cremer made sure to give every single couple (yes, the secondary ones!) some page time for development.

I've always been a die hard supporter of Team Ren. Shay Shmay! Kick the puppy out and let the alpha male take the stage, am I right?! Well, I'm absolutely devastated to say it but…Bloodrose made me stop hating the human-turned-wolf. No, I'm not joking. I know it's a shock but he became someone I could respect and really like! My bitterness about Ren's obvious superiority faded and the playing field became much more even. In this book, both boys continue to prove themselves worthy of Calla and you will LOVE the big focus on romance. Have you always wanted to see Ren and Shay fight with their claws? Calla plus some bed action? Or would you be more surprised to see the boys getting along and alpha Calla taking control? Yowza! Honestly, Bloodrose is full of swoon-worthy material that'll call your inner fangirl to the surface immediately! Ren will always be my number one, but you can definitely go into this book expecting some real changes!

Ultimately, I think Cremer ended the series brilliantly. Even though my heartstrings are still loose and thin, I loved Bloodrose so much. Calla's relationships with both boys reach an ultimate high and are just developed that one step further. The love triangle is solved in a way that's perfectly fitting for the series, no matter which side you're on, and I really can't imagine things turning out any other way now! This review really doesn't do the book justice. If I didn't worry about boring you to death I'd go into extreme detail about every single thing I loved. Truly. A magnificent read you must sink your canines into ASAP, no matter how sad you'll be to see it end! *slinks away to cry* 


Okay, this is completely random but the adorable wolf mannerisms in this book? I can't take it! *giggles into pillow* There was a whole lot of tail wagging, tongues lolling out, nipping, yipping and snuggling. Andrea's trying to kill us. For real. 
"I rested my head on Shay’s forepaws. He laid his chin on the back of my neck, giving my ear a playful lick."


Find Andrea on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy Bloodrose from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.
 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Born Wicked


Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Published: January 30th 2012
Source: Publisher for review

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave. Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

In a society where girls should be nothing but proper ladies, falling for the common gardener is scandalous, especially when your rich and attractive childhood friend has expressed his intentions to make you his wife. Not only is Cate Cahill torn between two boys who she shares equally close bonds with, but she's burdened by a secret that could have fatal consequences if discovered. She and her two sisters, Tess and Maura, are witches and if things weren't bad enough, Cate's just discovered that she's the centre of a mysterious prophecy that will change her life forever. Exciting and filled with entertainment, Born Wicked is a fantastic debut by Spotswood that'll have you jumping in your seat!

Cate's relationship with her younger sisters is crucial to the story, and I loved that they were both so well-developed. While Tess is an advanced caster who's innocent and sweet, Maura's rebellious and desperate to be The Best. Living with their human father, who isn't privy to their secret, they only have each other after their witch mother's death. My respect for Cate is sky high. Throughout the book she suppresses her carefree side to be the responsible one and makes huge sacrifices for the ones she loves. As the prophecy unfolds, this is especially true in epic proportions! She finds herself having to decide between two paths, one that'll lead to a terror and another to a witch resurgence, but both with terrible consequences for her. Beautifully suspenseful and mysterious, Born Wicked will have you desperately trying to piece all of the clues together!

The romance in this book is brilliant! Finn Belastra works in a bookstore (too smart a place for women!) but has become the Cahill's gardener for some extra cash. As Cate hovers about in fear that he'll ruin her beloved garden, the two bond and she falls in love with the boy who doesn't disapprove when she engages in unladylike behaviour (…like climbing trees). On the other hand, Cate and Paul have been neighbours since they were children. She remembers the green-eyed boy during their most playful moments and is shocked by the charming man who returns after four years of being an architect's apprentice in New London. He comes from a good family and could give her the world, but her heart doesn't stutter around him like it does with Finn! In three months, Cate will have her intention ceremony, where she'll choose between marriage or the Sisterhood. If she doesn't, the sinister Brotherhood will do it for her and she's guaranteed to be unhappy. Unfortunately, the prophecy will affect her decision and make things more difficult than you can imagine!! The romance is written with fabulous development and I promise you will just FALL. IN. LOVE.

You'll fly through Born Wicked in search for the conclusion! In the final third of the book, things get very fast-paced and suspenseful as disaster strikes and changes everything. Throughout the book you'll be plagued with questions about the prophecy and you'll only become more ravenous for answers as you learn more! The politics of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood are largely involved but you'll have to read the book yourself to find out more. Get ready for some stunning story-telling with great witch mythology and raging romances. Feel conflicted about every element in the book before being shocked by the cliffhanger that'll have you dying for more! You can find me in the corner. I'll be having a little tantrum and cry...



 
I read this book after seeing the trailer pictures. I think I almost died, along with Brodie LOL. Finn is SUPER adorable and we can't wait to share his character interview with you guys in February ;)

Isn't the trailer magnificent? One of the best I've ever seen!

Find Jessica on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy Born Wicked from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.


Blog Tour: Fated by Sarah Alderson - Giveaway

 
Hi everyone! Welcome to the sixth stop of the Australian Fated blog tour! 

I'm a big fan of Sarah Alderson and absolutely worship all of her books. Her first novel, Hunting Lila (review), was brilliant and Fated (review) 100% lived up to my sky-high expectations. If you haven't read her books, I strongly suggest you do so immediately! 5 stars all around from me!

Today I have the honour of giving away FIVE magnificent prize packs. What's in each?
  • A copy of Fated
  • A copy of Hunting Lila
  • A poster
Yes, FIVE people will be able to sink their teeth in the goodness that is Sarah's writing! As these prizes were provided by the lovely Simon & Schuster Australia, this giveaway will be open to AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTS ONLY. It'll end on FEBRUARY 12th so you have two weeks to get your entries in for a chance to win!


Fated will be released in Australia on February 1st but international readers can purchase online!
Hunting Lila: Amazon and The Book Depository.

If you're a fan of Sarah Alderson, be sure to check back here on February 1st for the big Valentine's blog event I'm co-hosting with Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries. Along with Brodie's Fated character interview (stop #9), we'll be featuring two deleted scenes and a character interview from Hunting Lila!

I hope you enjoyed the giveaway. Get ready for more Fated fun! Be sure to check out any previous stops you missed and make a reminder to visit the last few blogs ;)

24th January: Words on Paper - First Chapter Hosting

25th January: Novels on the Run - If you could control your Fate themed interview

26th January: Shiirleyy's Bookshelf - Video review

27th January: Tales of the Inner Book Fanatic – Fated Top Trumps and Fated Cast Battle Off

28th January: She Known as Jess - Grazia-esque magazine interview with the Fated cast

29th January: Read Me, Bookmark Me, Love Me Giveaway - 5 copies of Lila and Fated with posters!
30st January: Book Probe Reviews - Host video message to Aussie fans from Sarah
31st January: Sarah Alderson live facebook chat on Read Me Love Me Share Me


1st Feb: Eleusinian Mysteries - Evie and Lucas Q&A

2nd Feb: The Rest is Still Unwritten - Wise words interview from Sarah

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Chain Reaction


Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry #3
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: August 16th 2011

Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis’s family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he’s ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?

The final book of the series… Can you believe it? After all of the hardships and passionate romances, we're finally at the end! Once again, Elkeles brings in a new coupling that's completely unlike the other two. While Luis Fuentes has a clear vision of his future as an astronaut, Nikki Cruz hates her Mexican background and would rather be white, seeing as she acts like one anyway. After her Mexican ex-boyfriend, Marco, dumped her for the Latino Blood gang while she was pregnant with his baby, Nikki vowed to stay away from boys, especially those from the south side. Chain Reaction has the most twists of the series and is a great ending to this beloved story.

Meeting at a wedding, Nikki immediately has a negative reaction to Luis… So what does she do? Steal his clothes while he's skinny dipping in the ocean with some girl! Oh, the fire! Out of the three female love interests, I think it was the hardest to relate to Nikki. On one hand, I loved that she was so strong, having overcome many painful obstacles as a young adult, but it was difficult to connect with her as a character because of the her bullet-proof barriers. As she and Luis fall in love, we see him begin to chip away at her walls and teach her how to trust him. They have a sweet, though problematic, relationship, which complements the main storyline well.

The gang activity from the previous books all lead up to this. Chuy Soto, a dangerous man who wants Luis' help to rebuild the Latino Blood gang, is free from prison and willing to do anything to get what he wants. Luis faces hard choices, as he weighs in on the importance of his future, his family and the love of his life.  As we learn shocking secrets and navigate through fast twists, each one just seems to get worse and worse! At times you'll want to shake the characters for their stubborn or dangerous decisions, but you can only cross your fingers and hope for the best...

Throughout Chain Reaction, we discover many developments in the lives of the two previous couples. With weddings, babies, break ups and who knows what else, you'll love seeing your favourite characters return one last time! Every single book in the series has ended with an epilogue, twenty something years in the future, and this one is no different. In each, we see how the Fuentes brothers have grown up and knowing that they've all reached that point makes me feel so indescribably content! Elkeles has wrapped up this series brilliantly while still leaving room for the characters' lives to continue. This series is magnificent and will forever be remembered as being dangerous, exciting and sexy.


Find Simone on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and discussion forum.
Buy Chain Reaction from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble
 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Rules of Attraction


Title: Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry #1
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: April 13th 2010

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

Rules of Attraction is very different to Perfect Chemistry, so there's no need to worry about the same story being rehashed with a different brother. After the events of the first novel, where Carlos was sent to live in the safety of Mexico, he's now returning to America without any dreams or ambitions. He's perfectly content with his life in the gang, despite the disappointment of his older brother. Whereas Alex spends Perfect Chemistry attempting to distance himself from the Latino Blood gang, Carlos is someone who has to realise it's not good for him first. Here's where boy-hating Kiara comes in, bitter from past boyfriends and out for revenge. Can you say MEEOW?

Like in the first book, Carlos and Kiara don't hit it off immediately. While there's an instant physical attraction, it takes them both a while to like what they see on the inside. I adored these two characters! Kiara has a stutter, which she can usually control, but it all comes apart when she's nervous (hint: Carlos makes her very nervous). While we get to see her vulnerable side, she has a strong personality and is able to handle herself very well too. Did I mention that she can really think up devilish pranks? Stale cookies and magnets - that's all I'm going to say! Carlos is obviously troubled and isn't afraid of danger. After drugs are planted in his locker, he has to join a reach program to avoid jail and guess what? HE MOVES IN WITH KIARA. Oh the fun, intense times.

The best thing about Rules of Attraction is probably the character growth. As Carlos acclimates to Kiara's family, we see his sweet side as he befriends her younger brother and finds support in her parents. The two bring out the best in each other and it was heart-warming to see how they both changed for the better! Once again, the gangs won't just let them be a happy couple. There are complications. There is action. There are smart plans and maybe not so great outcomes. You'll have to see for yourself!

This was another great book by Elkeles and a great continuation of the series. She made us fall in love with new characters while still giving Alex and Brittany a few cameos! I really like how the sequels are written as if they're spin-offs. We're getting a new perspective and entirely different adventure in the same world with the characters we already know and love. A win-win situation!


Buy Rules of Attraction from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Perfect Chemistry



Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry #1
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: December 23rd 2008

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.  In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

I'd been meaning to read this series for a very long time. I heard about it years ago but was initially worried about how I'd like the sequels. Would I fall in love with the other brothers? Would I enjoy their stories just as much? I now know that I had nothing to worry about! If you still haven't read the books, grab them now and stop putting it off! I fell in love with the main characters immediately and being a long-time fan of gang/mafia novels, I was very pleased with how Perfect Chemistry was so well-balanced between the actual plot and sexy romance! Who knew that the meeting of Alex and Brittany would set off such events?!

Although Brittany Ellis is a white girl who's beautiful, rich, privileged and, of course, very popular, never would she have imagined falling in love with the dangerous Alex Fuentes, who's connected to the Latino Blood gang. If you're worried about some star-crossed insta-love, think again! The two despise each other greatly and it takes a lot of effort for them not to stab each other when they're in the same room. Just like everyone else, Brittany's afraid of him and Alex can't stop hating the perfect snob who thinks she's better than everyone. With each scene, not only does the romance slowly grow stronger but we learn more about the two as individuals. Brittany isn't the mean girl everyone thinks she is and Alex isn't involved with his gang because he likes it. I loved the entire journey Elkeles put me on with these characters and I'm sure you will too!

Alex Fuentes is hot. He knows it...and he uses it to his advantage. Don't pass out when he's whispering in Brittany's ear or propositioning her for a less-than-inappropriate ride in his car. I'm warning you! The two strong personalities collide yet mould together perfectly and this couple is passionate at an A-grade level. While their relationship does go through some complications with predictable outcomes, you'll still be able to really enjoy the story.

Throughout Perfect Chemistry is the conflict Alex has between Brittany and the LB gang. They simply can't co-exist. No matter how much Alex wants to leave his gang, it's impossible, and the novel is filled with shocking revelations, twists, fights and more! It's so much more than just a romance and I think this book was a great start to the series. While Alex will always be my favourite Fuentes, his younger brothers, Carlos and Luis, are certainly very likeable too! Perfect Chemistry has a wonderful ending and paves the way for the sequels very well. If you're up for some heart-racing romance and action, this book's for you! ;)


Are we in love with this series? Which brother was your favourite? ;)

Find Simone on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and discussion forum.
Buy Perfect Chemistry from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Review: Arcadia Awakens



Title: Arcadia Awakens
Author: Kai Meyer
Series: Arkadien #1
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Published: March 2012
Source: Publisher for review

To Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic and wholly unknown. But when her life in Brooklyn begins to fall apart, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where centuries of family secrets await her. Once there, Rosa falls head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both fascinate and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem. Hidden caves, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a history of familial bloodlust mean that Rosa can’t trust anyone. Torn between loyalty to her family and love for their mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love…or run as far and as fast as she can.

Moving to Sicily to live with her older sister and aunt, Rosa Alcantara finds herself trapped in the middle of a mafia war between her family and the Carnevares. Although the two have a truce, their history of mistrust and the ascension of a new boss leads to deception, dangerous rule-breaking and secrets between them. When Rosa takes notice of Alessandro on her plane, never did she think he would become her enemy, that he was the dead capo's heir, or that she would fall in love with him. Get ready to be whisked away by the thrilling adventure, intriguing mystery and romance as you delve into the world of Arcadia Awakens.

Even though I've never been to Sicily, just having been to Italy made this book seem very realistic. Aided by Meyer's great attention to detail, the atmosphere and story will jump out at you immediately! While the descriptions do, at times, affect the pace, it overall gives the book a lot of depth so it's not difficult to imagine the beautiful Sicilian landscape or the dark operations of the mafia. These are mafias with a twist though. Rosa can't stop encountering animals that display human qualities and…I'm sure you know where this is going. I think it's a brilliant concept that's explored well in the book, but I still can't wait for more!

I love Rosa as a character, I really do. She's strong, determined and quite the rule-breaker! Shrugging off the disapproving looks and lectures, she lets herself befriend Alessandro, even though both of their families are less than pleased with the development. Although Rosa is hesitant about the enemy at first, she soon learns that maybe he's the only one she can trust. Their relationship develops slowly but I loved the layers of tension that surrounded it! Alessandro is protective and charming, yet sweet? No way. This is too good to be true! While the romance isn't a huge part of the novel, it ties the elements of mystery and action together perfectly, as well as balance the amount of history and mythology in it too.

Yes, this review is somewhat vague but you'll want to unveil the mysteries of this book yourself. Arcadia Awakens is filled with the kind of shocks and twists that can only be found in fast-paced action novels, and you'll especially be holding your breath when things get serious between the families towards the end. This edge-of-your-seat suspense will have you itching to see the final outcome but be warned - Meyer isn't afraid to kill off his characters or cruelly toy with their lives! The story is spellbinding with its dark romance and you'll find your inner-gangster itching to come out and play. Sequel-wise, I'm excited and ready for complicated romance, special animals, mafia politics and more!


I love this cover! Much better than the old UK version ;) Oh, this storyline makes me giddy...

Find Kai on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and his website.
Buy Arcadia Awakens from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars



Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Published: January 11th 2012
Source: Publisher for review

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Brutally honest and bittersweet, The Fault in Our Stars will tug at your heart-strings in the very best way. Hazel Lancaster is a cancer survivor but depends on an oxygen tank to keep her weak lungs functioning. Suddenly, they feel like they might collapse when the gorgeous Augustus Waters appears at one of her weekly support group meetings, in support of his blind friend, Isaac. As they slowly bond over their issues and love of books, the two play the dangerous game of falling in love where nothing can be certain, but persevere hand in hand until the very end. An absolutely moving novel that will surely bring you to tears.

Ever since Hazel got a second chance at life, never did she believe love would be in the picture. With all of her baggage, who would be interested? Gus soon makes himself known and quickly proves that she's completely worthy of his affections, making her feel special and like a normal teenage girl should. He charms her with his smile, gets her hooked on bloodbath zombie books, makes her feel loved and even grants her a special wish. Although I did feel things moved along quickly for them, I adored every stage of their relationship. It's emotional, real and feels entirely right. They're meant to be and it's backed up with visible evidence! Gus is one of the most unique YA guys for a variety of reasons - none that I'll be sharing with you! - and he'll win you over the second he appears in the book. I guarantee it!

If you're used to heroines who fight supernatural battles or rebel against corrupt governments, you'll love the refreshing voice of Hazel. How often do you read books like this? Where the girl is thrown into real life-threatening circumstances? Where she has a physical disadvantage? Where she sacrifices her own happiness so that the love of her life won't get hurt if she dies? Not only is Hazel mentally and emotionally strong, she manages to keep her sense of humour and enjoy what she can in life. Her relationship with her friends and family are explored too, realistically showing the affect cancer has on those around her. I truly adore how genuine this book is, not making Hazel's life perfect but really showing all of the flaws and complications.

If, like me, you've never read anything by John Green before, I'd say this is a great place to start. With his perfect balance of extreme wit, humour, romance and heartache, The Fault in Our Stars is a brilliant read. As you fall in love with all of the characters, you'll be hanging onto their every word and waiting to see what will happen next, following them every step of the way on this bumpy journey. Green's beautiful story about love and loss will wrangle your heart this way and that, making you ride his rollercoaster until the very last page. And what a ride it is...


I can't even begin to describe how WOW this book was. I feel pangs in my chest right now! Guh. If you plan on reading this, I suggest grabbing a durable teddy bear, a tub of ice cream and box of tissues. I mean it. 

Find John on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and his website.
Buy The Fault In Our Stars from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review: Girl About Time (Ruby Red)



Title: Girl About Time (Ruby Red)
Author: Kerstin Gier
Series: Ruby Red #1
Publisher: Chicken House
Published: 1st November 2011
Source: Publisher for review

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Never did I expect to love this book so much. If you're looking for an entertaining and mysterious read, Girl About Time will be a treat for your taste buds! After Gwyneth travels back in time instead of her cousin, Charlotte, she's shocked when the many secrets surrounding herself and her family begin to unravel. Chase Gwyneth and Gideon, a talented time traveller, through time and prepare to be shocked again and again! Traps? Killers? Runaway fugitives? Corsets? Evil relatives? Lurrve? Oh my... Entertaining doesn't even begin to explain how fun this book is!

In the prologue, we're immediately tricked. Yes, tricked! You'll see for yourself when you read the book but just think about how twist-filled Girl About Time must be! Throughout the book you'll come across many riddles, secrets and partial stories that just don't make sense. While you may attempt to solve them for hours upon hours, you'll fail. Sorry! Gier does a fantastic job of constructing and unfolding the storyline, playing mind games with us all at the same time. If not for anything else, fall in love with the exciting plot. You'll have a blast exploring Gwyneth's history and following her on her adventures! Unlike Charlotte, who's been extensively trained since she was a child to know how to survive in any time period and situation, Gwyneth's learning everything for the first time and it's partly intriguing…partly hilarious.

Putting aside how much I adore the plot, the characters are brilliant. Not only is Gwyneth brave, but she has a great sense of humour, is intelligent, determined and so much more! Gideon's character changes bit by bit and I really enjoyed seeing the transformation. When he first meets Gwyneth, he's stuck up and annoyed by her replacing Charlotte. Oh how that changes! *grins* Even Gwyneth's friends and family are developed really well, each with a unique personality and role! I thought Gideon and Gwyneth had the sweetest almost-romance, with Gier continuously changing their relationship by only a slight amount each time. She'll send you into fits of giggles with the scowling, banter and flirting!

So far, Girl About Time is the only book of the three to be translated to English and published. Why do I suddenly feel tempted to learn German? We're left mid-scene at a gasp-worthy cliffhanger so I need more ASAP! The idea of time travel is explored on a great level but I can't wait to delve even further, as well as find out the conclusions of these mysteries! I apologise for not elaborating much but there's simply too much plot to describe! Just…get the book, okay? I need someone to fangirl with. And to come up with outrageous theories about what will happen next... Overall, a thoroughly mind-boggling adventure you'll love!

*SOBS* I have to wait until October for Sapphire Blue to be published in English? *sniffles* I don't even want to think about Emerald Green!

Find Kerstin on Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Girl About Time from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

In My Mailbox: 21/1/12


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Let us know what books you've bought, borrowed or received for review!


Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Reading this right now and really enjoying it! I could've finished it yesterday but I've been SO tired this week. I fell asleep at midnight, can you believe? =|

The Darkest Powers omnibus by Kelley Armstrong
*squeaks* It's here! It's here! I won a giveaway mid-2011….things happened…..but it's here! I've been dying to read this series for so long and can't wait to read the Darkness Rising one straight after!

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
I couldn't wait for the Australian release, plus I had to get the gorgeous US version in hardcover to match my set! So excited to read this, even though I know how it ends... I'm super annoyed - people need to watch their spoilers.. *fumes*

Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin  
I've had this on my TBR for years! I wasn't sure that I'd like it so I never got around to buying it. So when Sonia offered to send me a copy for myself, along with a few to give away in February, I was delighted! I'm really looking forward to it since she's a big fan ;)

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
So I've obviously already read and reviewed this (go Net Galley!) but the cover looks beautiful in print. *stares* I could marry it. Think the sequel's can top it?

Stefan's Diaries: The Asylum by L.J. Smith
I haven't read any of these books and most likely won't ever... I think I'll just stick with the brilliant tv series?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I cried. That's all you need to know.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Again, I've already read and reviewed this but surprisingly received a gorgeous finished copy this week! Really happy since the ARC didn't have a cover image on it :)

The Industry by Rose Foster
Yet ANOTHER book I've already read and reviewed but it was nice to get again. Will find a new home for this manuscript!

Lips Touch by Laini Taylor
I've wanted to read this for ages! Ever since people raved about DOSAB and then fangirled about this one……well, my interest was obviously piqued. The artwork in this is gorgeous too and I'm itching to dig in!

Raven Lucas by Christine Harris
Junior fiction but hey, it looks interesting. I love me some mystery ;) Will give it a go when I have some time!

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A huge thank you to Penguin, Ekta, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Scholastic and Kim Harrington (February giveaway swag).

My TBR ASAP pile was down to 2-3 last week. After this one? *scoffs* Uh...BYE BYE free reading time. Oh well, at least I've got fabulous books to occupy my time with until then! ;)

What's in your mailbox? 
What do you think of these books? Love? Hate? OMG why don't I have it?!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Article 5



Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published: January 31st 2012
Source: Publisher for review

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes. There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back. Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different. Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

In Louisville, 3 years after a vicious war that devastated the United States, the President has instituted the Moral Statutes which govern the way people behave. All violations lead to citations or trials, the latter option meaning you'll likely disappear without a trace. After her mother is arrested for the violation of Article 5, conceiving out of wedlock, Ember Miller becomes government property and is sent to rehabilitation. It's from here that she finds her life entwined with Chase Jennings once again, the boyfriend she's always loved. Article 5 is an exciting novel, filled with action, mystery, suspense and steamy romance! So many things are kept a secret but slowly revealed throughout the book. Your mind will be blown. Your heart will melt. Your hands will be flapping!! All in all, an electrifying read that'll get your heart pumping.

While Chase doesn't dominate every thought in Ember's mind, the romance feels thick and suffocating in the very best way. Their relationship is riddled with confusing layers and history, and we see the many phases of it as the story progresses. Complicated and painful is how I'd describe it... Through flashbacks, we see how they transitioned from best childhood friends to lovers. It's entirely heart-warming and sweet until we learn that he's leaving to become a soldier. He promises to come back but now that he's here, Ember can't get over how much he's changed. He seems like a completely different person and her memories of the old Chase don't do anything but hurt her! Their relationship undergoes a beautifully slow rekindling, building up to to a love you will FANGIRL over. Chase will win you over with his strength, kindness, sweet love and complete loyalty, wooing you without a problem!

Ember is a fantastic YA heroine. Her love for her mother is so strong and she proves this with every action in the book. She triumphs through horrific trials and punishments to try and help her mother, and becomes and even better person because of it. She's determined and passionate about the things she cares about and is absolutely fearless. You've got to love such bravery in a girl! With the new government system, you'll see whippings, executions and so much more. Grab the blankie because Simmons' world is created with so much depth and reality, it's chilling!

Article 5 will have you biting your lip in anticipation. You never know how the characters will get out of sticky situations and we're spun in circles constantly! This thrilling read is filled with tension (of the suspenseful and romantic kind) and twists that never fail to surprise. The novel is a big emotional and physical journey that'll take Ember and Chase over endless obstacles to reach safety. The sequel will no doubt be just as magnificent because of the direction the story is heading! I'm very anxious to come back to these characters and watch their love grow more - this is a book that'll stick with you for a long time to come!


*runs around* I adored this book so much! Better get your hands on it ASAP!

Find Kristen on Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy Article 5 from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Fracture



Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Published: January 5th 2012
Source: Publisher for review

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine —despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it? Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

When Delaney Maxwell falls into a newly-frozen lake and is trapped under the ice, Decker Phillips is held back by his friends and unable to save her immediately. Being under for eleven minutes, she should be 100% dead. She's alive. Her doctors say she's brain dead and will remain in her coma. She wakes up. The cat scans of her extremely damaged brain show that she should have memory loss, a speech impediment and so much more. She's fine. Fracture follows the mystery of the strange pull the dead have on Delaney, as she battles to understand her ability and save those she's drawn to. Troy Varga believes they can't save anyone and shockingly takes things into his own hands, becoming desperate with his own agenda. While I did enjoy the book and love the concept, Fracture didn't suck me in and earn itself a "favourite" label.

I enjoy mystery books. I love the suspense and adventure that comes with them, which is what Fracture lacks, in my opinion. I felt as if the mysteries, secrets and twists were very obvious and couldn't believe Delaney wasn't figuring things out immediately! She is in a fragile mental state, however, so we'll give her a pass... The novel deals very much with Delaney's tough recovery, filled with parents who think she's hallucinating, friends who become angry at her unusual survival, boys who twist the wires in her brain and strangers who die soon after she predicts. Many decisions contribute to the one outcome and I liked how they were all connected!

Decker is Delaney's best friend and has been her neighbour for even longer. From the very beginning, it's apparent he has feelings for her, although Delaney's completely oblivious. I drove myself insane with the romance in this book! There are misunderstandings all around and other love interests come to stir the pot too. When Decker busies himself with a gorgeous girl, Delaney gets involved with Troy and doesn't correct Decker on her relationship with Carson, his best friend. There are fickle love triangles and squares everywhere, and you can't help but feel sympathetic for Delaney since she's just very confused. These relationships are a very large part of the novel because they impact on Delaney's decisions, mental state and so much more. I think Miranda developed them well, but I didn't hugely like or become invested in any of the characters.

Fracture is a novel that will make you thoughtful, but isn't filled with any fast-paced action or gripping mystery. The plot and characters are developed slowly and will feed your curiosity little by little as you progress! Although I did like the ending, I didn't feel completely satisfied or as if it affected me as much as it should've, but nevertheless, you may fall in love with this book much more than I did so give it a go! I think it had great potential but just didn't quite work out for me as planned!


Thoughts? Think you can suss out the plot? Read it already? :)

Find Megan on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy Fracture from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer



Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Published: February 1st 2012
Source: Publisher for review

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.



Noah Shaw: Two of the sexiest words in the English language. For months, all I've been hearing about is this swoon-worthy Noah and boy, I was not disappointed. Other than the fact that Noah will make you weak in the knees, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is an exciting mystery that will mess with your mind in so many ways! After her friends died in the collapse of an old mental asylum, Mara moves to Florida and begins piecing together the memories that are hiding in the dark recesses of her mind.

Throughout the book, you'll constantly be confused about whether something's a reality or an illusion. With Mara's mind blocking out the frightening memories of her traumatic experience, hallucinations and nightmares become her brain's coping mechanism. It isn't until the very end that the full story is revealed and things make sense, but even then, you'll still have a million questions! Hodkin unfolds the mystery perfectly and throws us small clues that don't ever quite add up until she wants them to. The storyline is gripping from beginning to end and will have you tearing the pages apart at the flashbacks that always end just when you're onto something! Mara's not a normal girl...but I'll be vague with this. You really have to go into this book blind to get the full effect! I read Mara Dyer in one sitting and refused to stop even though the sun was beginning to rise. It's that addictive.

In a good book, an interesting storyline must come with strong characters. From Mara's hilarious but caring family to her flamboyant friend, Jamie, you'll find someone to fall in love with. Everyone's unique and loveable - the only exception being Anna, the snotty princess who's set her devil eyes on Noah's newest object of affection… Kudos to Mara for being such a great female lead! From the moment I saw her humour and strength shine through, I knew I'd love this book. As Mara also shows her confused and vulnerable side, you'll easily become invested in her story! Mara's a brilliant narrator and will have you feeling every single emotion that she is. Beautiful writing by Hodkin!
"Anna used to be the abstinence poster girl, but post-Shaw, you could write a comic book about the many adventures of her vagina. It could wear a cape."
Now comes the hard part. Where do I even begin to describe Noah Shaw? Looking effortlessly rumpled with his messy bed hair and dishevelled clothes, his enticing British accent will tip you over the edge! Having the reputation of a player who's god-like in bed, Mara knows she should steer clear of the boy. Even though said boy follows her into classrooms (THAT AREN'T HIS) and flirts relentlessly. Even though he tries to rile her up in English class (HE READS BOOKS) and won't stop trying to coerce her into a date. With his French and Spanish skills. The sexual tension in this book is like no other! You better watch out or else the pages will start burning! Oh, how I lived for their banter and teasing. You won't find a better match in the entire universe. Noah Shaw is…officially the hottest YA guy of all time. You better screenshot that for future reference. I'm sticking by it. *nods* If you have to pour cold water on yourself later, don't say I didn't warn you.
Noah was in the process of unbuttoning his shirt. Sweet Jesus.
"I'm really not comfortable with-"
He pulled his tie loose. My female classmates tittered.
"Ohmigod!"
"Holy hell."
"Hot. So hot."
Ultimately, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer will be seating itself on your favourites shelf. With this explosive plot and winning characters, I can't see how you'd be able to do otherwise! After a succession of gasp-worthy twists, we're left with a shocking cliffhanger that will have the brain cogs spinning all over again. Right now, I'm just relieved that there will be MORE. I almost cried at the prospect of finishing the journey here! Mara and Noah will do that to you. I'm speechless. In awe. In crazy sexy love with everything that is this series. Michelle Hodkin, you are a goddess. I'm building my shrine right now.

1) NOAH! I love you so much!
2) This trailer is amazing *fans* Have you all seen the sexy pictures from the filming of it? If not, go and look at Michelle's pictures on Twitter NOW.
3) Why don't I have the sequel yet? *sobs*

Find Michelle on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.



Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16th - 31st Releases

For the first half of January we had some amazing books, but we've got just as much to look forward to this fortnight! What looks good to you? :)


Tempest by Julie Cross - January 17th
The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun. That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Halflings by Heather Burch - January 17th
After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret---and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys' powers, as well as her role in a scientist's dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand - January 17th
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning. 

Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey - January 17th
 For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds. The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric-who may or may not betray them.


Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic - January 17th
Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go. But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

Fracture by Megan Miranda - January 17th
Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine —despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald - January 24th
Seventeen-year-old Sadie is in love: epic, heartfelt, and utterly onesided. The object of her obsession - ahem, affection - is her best friend, Garrett Delaney, who has been oblivious to Sadie's
feelings ever since he sauntered into her life and wowed her with his passion for Proust (not to mention his deep-blue eyes). For two long, painful years, Sadie has been Garrett's constant companion, sharing his taste in everything from tragic Russian literature to art films to '80s indie rock
- all to no avail. But when Garrett leaves for a summer literary retreat, Sadie is sure that the absence will make his heart grow fonder - until he calls to say he's fallen in love. With some other girl! A
heartbroken Sadie realizes that she's finally had enough. It's time for total Garrett detox! Aided by a barista job, an eclectic crew of new friends (including the hunky chef, Josh), and a customized self help guide, Sadie embarks on a summer of personal reinvention full of laughter, mortifying meltdowns, and a double shot of love.


Everneath by Brodi Ashson - January 24th 
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned - to her old life, her family, her friends - before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.



Forbidden by Syrie James and Ryan M. James - January 24th
Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now and she’s desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there’s no way she’s going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she’s been having or the creepy warnings that she’s in danger. Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn’t factored Claire into his plans... Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire’s unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe - January 24th 
When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back. Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest. Because how will she go on if there isn't?

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows - January 31st
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why. Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

I've read some of these and really enjoyed them. Absolutely can't wait to check out the rest! What do you think?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: Fated



Title: Fated
Author: Sarah Alderson
Series: Fated #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Published: February 1st 2012
Source: Publisher for review

What happens when you discover you aren't who you thought you were? And that the person you love is the person who will betray you? If your fate is already determined, can you fight it? When Evie Tremain discovers that she’s the last in a long line of Demon slayers and that she’s being hunted by an elite band of assassins –Shapeshifters, Vampires and Mixen demons amongst them – she knows she can’t run. They’ll find her wherever she goes. Instead she must learn to stand and fight. But when the half-human, half-Shadow Warrior Lucas Gray - is sent to spy on Evie and then ordered to kill her before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy, their fates become inextricably linked. The war that has raged for one thousand years between humans and demons is about to reach a devastating and inevitable conclusion. Either one or both of them will die before this war ends. If your life becomes bound to another’s, what will it take to sever it?

Sarah Alderson has once again returned with a stunning series. Fated is even more action-packed than her first novel, Hunting Lila, and will leave you desperate for more. Amazing fight-scenes? A diverse and interesting cast of characters? Two brilliant leads? A sizzling hot romance? Check, check, check and CHECK! When Evie Tremain is forced into the Hunter lifestyle after discovering she's the only purebred left - in other words, the only one who can fulfil the White Light prophecy - she's conflicted between doing her duty as a Hunter, living her life as a normal human and abandoning everything for the man she loves... A man who also happens to be her enemy - a member of the Brotherhood, which aims to eliminate all Hunters, namely Evie. If you're ready for another exciting read, get yourself a copy of Fated right this instant!

Lucas Gray, a half human and half Shadow Warrior, moves into Evie's house and is sent there to spy on the Hunters in town, learning their training methods and tactics. While his mission is to kill Evie before she ends the Brotherhood for good, Lucas also struggles with his duty because of his burgeoning love for her. I really love forbidden romances, especially when the stakes are this high. It's literally a life and death situation - they have to kill each other! - that will have your heart racing at a million miles an hour.  Evie and Lucas are a perfect couple, having unbelievable similarities and understanding each other only like they can. Although it takes a long time for them to get together, the entire process is exhilarating! Being a Shadow Warrior means Lucas can turn invisible and...things certainly get interesting here. A slow-burning romance filled with danger, secrets and passion? Yes please!

This entire world is magnificent. I love the mythology, I love the creatures, I love everything about the way Alderson's constructed this story. Shocking? Not at all. Some authors have amazing stories but are let down by stony characters we couldn't care less about. But Sarah? She could write about two people watching tv and it would still be award-winning! Her characters are always so loveable and developed that it's shocking how quickly you become invested in their lives, that is, if you haven't read any of her books before… I knew Fated was going to be brilliant and damn it if I wasn't right! There's honestly no slowing down in this book, it's packed with material. With one exciting scene after another, it's no surprise this is another 2012 favourite. Read this and you will not regret it. It's brilliant, end of story!


*pants* Who else died after reading that first kiss? My god. SARAH! You're killing us!  

Find Sarah on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and her website.
Buy Fated from Amazon and The Book Depository.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In My Mailbox: 14/1/12


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Let us know what books you've bought, borrowed or received for review!


Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I know. It's here. Really? *screams* It feels like just yesterday when I first read Half Blood when it was actually very very long ago.. I absolutely cannot wait to dive back into this series! I'm sure Pure's just as amazing, if not more, than the first book! ARC came with swag too ;)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
So I began reading this last night and finished at about 4am. There was no way I was going to put this down! Noah Shaw stole my heart and tossed it onto the growing pile in his dungeon. Stupid, sexy boy. *grumbles* So happy this is finally being released in Australia! 

Fracture by Megan Miranda
So this sounds like very mysterious read and Sonia (super friendly publicist!) hasn't stopped gushing about it for months! This will be my next read so fingers crossed :)

Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Schultz
When I woke up one morning and learnt this was on Net Galley? I almost died. I adored Spellbound like you would not believe and I'm very anxious to see more of Brendan! Brodie and I chatted with him for almost two hours on Tuesday... *melts* So charming. You guys are going to LOVE the character interview/IM chat we've got for you in February ;)
So I usually don't read these books but...I just couldn't resist. This sounds like a fun contemporary, even if the main character does have the worse luck in the universe! <3

A huge thank you to Spencer Hill Press, Simon & Schuster Australia, Bloomsbury Australia, Net Galley, Harlequin and Penguin US for the review copies!

What's in your mailbox?

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Winners of Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

You lucky 5 have won yourselves a copy of Hallowed! I will be forwarding your details directly to Harper Collins so watch your mailbox for the next few weeks! :)

Celine O
Pavan H
Katie T
Mary P
Nikki K

Congratulations and enjoy!
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